Miracle: Dani's Story
one family's struggle with
Jay and Sue Shotel
To See a new interview on News Channel 8 in DC click on the screen below or go to:
See Dani, Jay, and Sue talk about the book in a television interview on
"Forward Motion" hosted by Karen Allen
Part 1click here
Part 2click here
Part 3click here
In August 2002 Dani Shotel was a healthy 26-year old young woman with an almost perfect life. She had gratifying work, as a special needs teacher in an elementary school in Arlington County, Virginia, many friends, a loving family, and a boyfriend, Scott Greene, whom she was soon to marry. Then just one month later, on September 11 -- an appropriately infamous date--Dani was diagnosed with Acute Myelogenous Leukemia (AML). From that moment on, her world turned upside down and she and her family went on an unforgettable journey. They returned with many valuable life-lessons, and want to share them with all cancer victims, their families, their loved ones, and professionals involved in the wellness process.
Comments from the professional community about It's Good to Know a Miracle:
A deeply personal, remarkably detailed testimonial to the power of positive energy and medical advocacy to bring about the miracle of a second chance at life through transplantation. Jay and Sue persuasively share the many perspectives that encompass the transplant journey….from that of caregiver, to patient to medical staff. Every reader will find many wonderful lessons and inspiration to take away from this tale. I commend the authors for their honesty and perseverance in the detail of the telling.
Lynne Coughlin Samson, Esq., Executive Director National Transplant Assistance Fund & Catastrophic Injury Program
Every time I work on the inpatient service it reminds me of the critically important role of the caregivers, loved ones and support system for each of our patients. This is especially true during difficult times, when the connections provided by the caregivers and support system (whether through physical care, verbal encouragement or just being there in spirit) offer the patient their most tangible reasons for hope, strength and will to keep fighting. It's more "powerful" than our strongest chemotherapy, antibiotics and stem cell graft effects. The Shotel’s book is a poignant illustration of this critically important role.
Michael Linenberger, MD, Medical Director, Apheresis and Cellular Therapy
Seattle Cancer Care Alliance
It is always helpful for families to know that their journey through transplant, with its ups and downs, has been shared by others. This book offers not only the patient’s insight but those of her parents/caregivers as well. Families facing a transplant will draw inspiration from the Shotel’s experience.
Susan Stewart, Executive Director, Bone Marrow Transplant InfoNET
Some Early Praise for "It’s Good to Know a Miracle"
Selected as one of 10 Health Books in 2008 "You'll Actually Want to Read"
Laura Landro, Wall Street Journal, December 24, 2008
This is a book that will touch your heart as well as take you on a grueling journey with a happy ending.
Anne Stinson, Book Critic, Easton Star Democrat - January 16, 2009
I realized how much my kids are like your kids – and it could have easily been one of my three kids that faced leukemia—but I found the book to be an absolute page turner...
You may consider sending a case of kleenex with each book, it touches my heart so, I am glad I know the ending...
I read it in 2 days and all I can say is "amazing"! Congratulations to all of you for the perfect first hand account of what it is like to battle leukemia. I really didn't know what to expect but I couldn't put the book down. There were quite a few times that a passage brought me to the verge of tears but I would put the book down and say to myself- it's ok- she gets through all of this...
I knew that I would not be able to get to the book until summer since during the school year I am schlepping my athelete daughter to her soccer games and/or practices when I am not at work or doing school work. By the time I get home, I am exhausted and all I want to do is sleep and try to catch up on some of my TV shows. Anyway, Friday night I decided to read through the preface- and didn't stop. I read until about 2:00 am. Sat. morning. Sat. night was the same scenario. This book has me competely engulfed. I can't say it is a fast read as I feel compelled to read every grey box and find the definition of every medical term I do not know in the appendix. But it is a wonderful uplifting book. (I can say uplifting because although I have not finished it yet I do know that Dani is alive and well and still teaching those wonderful children). Not only do we learn about the battle against Leukemia but most importantly we learn about a wonderful family who battle this dreadful disease together...
What a powerful story! Just couldn’t let go. Am so happy and glad that all went as it did though it looked several times as if your wonderfully extraordinary daughter’s life could have ended “right then and there.” You are fine writers, and the testimonials are very touching. I hope I may get to meet your daughter some day...
I spent the whole weekend glued to the book... I was particularly interested in reading Dani’s writings, because it helped me to understand how to be a better friend to people that are going through tough times. I know that I have fallen into the trap of offering to help someone without providing a specific example, and I am still learning how to strike the balance between asking about how someone is doing and knowing when they just don’t want to talk about it any more... On a more concrete level, you have motivated me to get information about how to become a possible donor.